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Gb And Abaco Homes 'Failed Building Code'

Minister of Works Desmond Bannister.

Minister of Works Desmond Bannister.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

WORKS Minister Desmond Bannister said many homes in Abaco and Grand Bahama contravened the country’s building code before Dorian made landfall.

“I have seen so many homes in Abaco and in Grand Bahama that did not meet requirements of the code either because they were built before the code was amended or because they were built in contravention of the code,” he said in the House of Assembly yesterday during debate on new disaster preparedness legislation.

He said his ministry will appoint additional inspectors to assist architects and engineers in the inspection process.

Some contractors fear enhancing the building code will increase building costs. Noting the code contemplates protecting buildings from winds up to 150mph, Mr Bannister said his ministry will seek to strengthen regulations.

He also revealed that 2,262 buildings have been assessed to date on Grand Bahama, these including residential, commercial, mixed use and public buildings. Of these, ,040 sustained some damage. One thousand and sixty of them received minimal damage with costs of about $2,500; 420 received moderate damage with costs of about $5,000; 350 sustained severe damage worth about $7,500 while 210 are non-salvageable. So far, 460 buildings have been assessed in Abaco, including 444 residential buildings and 16 commercial buildings. Of these, 123 sustained minimal damage, 88 sustained moderate damage, 128 sustained severe damage and 95 are non-salvageable. With still many more buildings yet to be assessed, the total dollar amount of assistance required in relation to buildings already assessed is $12.1 million, Mr Bannister noted.

Earlier, Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin continued the Progressive Liberal Party’s criticism of the government’s response to the hurricane, saying the West End airport in Grand Bahama was not opened immediately to receive supplies and there were delays getting supplies to Abaco by Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) vessels.

She said: “Do you remember that two years ago, the national airline Bahamasair was used to evacuate people in the days before landfall of Hurricane Irma out of Inagua and Ragged Island and Mayaguana and Acklins and Crooked Island in what the PM boasted as the ‘largest evacuation in history,’ sending aircraft after aircraft free of charge to evacuate more than 1,500 persons from harm’s way? It seems that evacuation policy was abandoned in the approach of Dorian despite knowing, assuming they got the briefing we got, that this would be an extraordinary storm with tremendous flooding three times the height of Killarney and that in Abaco there were hundreds living in low-lying shanty towns with substandard housing and people in the cays and those exposed to the shores in East Grand Bahama.”

Comments

The_Oracle 4 months, 1 week ago

Would someone please educate this man? The inspection department of the ministry of works failed to inspect buildings properly! Besides, even if code specs are built to 150 I doubt the code can be faulted as 200mph was experienced. Nor does the code accommodate flooding or water velocity. Who is feeding this man garbage to recite? Also he had better consult with the studies done on Shelter deaths vs. scattered residential deaths ratio. Shoving people into ill built shelters will cause more deaths, and evacuations for larger populations are unrealistic unless they are going to start evacuating at the start of hurricane season! And if so from and to which islands? These rash reactions without any basis in fact or consultation with sensibility will only get more people killed or exposed to danger. The complete NEMA amendment will only hamper and destroy any semblance of disaster response possible. Fools rush in.......

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months, 1 week ago

THIS FLAMING IDIOT IS MAKING MINNIS LOOK LIKE AN EVEN BIGGER IDIOT FOR NOT FIRING HIM FROM HIS CABINET POST. BANNISTER MAKES PICEWELL FORBES SEEM INTELLIGENT!!

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TalRussell 4 months, 1 week ago

Obviously the prime minister office's message writer Comrade Sister Erica, has been fired, reassigned, resigned or sidetracked, yes, no ... minister has taken more twists and turns than a pretzel ...minister Desmond has taken more turns away from laying a single block to kick start rebuilding hurricane destroyed Ragged Island than does a pretzel has twists .....

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killemwitdakno 4 months, 1 week ago

Assist homeowners in suing the companies who didn’t.

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killemwitdakno 4 months, 1 week ago

Assist homeowners in suing the companies who didn’t.

Are you keeping a register of minimally damaged and unsalvageable for NEMA and insurance companies so that the social assistance isn’t milked to death and the most affected get full assistance?

Which mix is trending as best?

Ms. Hanna, your PLP didn’t even want to keep the planes so please.

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The_Oracle 4 months, 1 week ago

So what is the minister gonna do or who will he blame when all the RV holding tanks are full, batteries dead, water tanks empty, generators serviced, etc? Are the occupants being trained on these RV/Boat type systems? If not those RV's will be unlivable in short order. Again, no logistical skill or comprehensive knowledge to draw upon. Relief supplies piling up in the US, NEMA with no capability to haul, unload, distribute. Warehouses full and stuck in them. NGO's working around NEMA and blowing their doors off with on the ground logistics and results. And still the Government won't relinquish CONTROL. Always the CONTROL. Getting in the way. Meetings upon meetings that result on NO ACTION.

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TimesUp 4 months, 1 week ago

How did those dollar values get calculated?

$2500 minimal damage. $5000 moderate damage. $7500 severe damage.

Are they missing a zero somewhere?

Take a look at a severely damaged home and explain how $7500 will help except to pay for bulldozing the home.

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Donnaree 4 months, 1 week ago

Desmond Bannister have his head in the sand. Abaco and then Grand Bahama has the best building contractor in the whole Bahamas. The majority of our builders took extra percussions to make those buildings even stronger. I believe that's why many were left standing and those that did gone took a long time to go, to be batted by hurricane Dorian for such a long time it's a miracle anything were left standing. The inspectors knew their jobs but they can honestly say the builders/contractors thought them a few things themselves. Now am not talking about the Haitians communities in the Mudd, Pigeon Peas or Sand banks because those people used to build their houses in one night without any regards of our Laws nor building codes. Those insurance company violating and destroying people's life all over again. We are all under heavy stress and uncertainties. These people are heartless! Let's see what's going to happen when the shoes on the other foot because believe you me no one is exempt from the rap of wrath of God.

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DWW 4 months, 1 week ago

there is no building code for 220mph. i know first hand. and there is no holding up to 220mph unless you are in a cave or an exceptionally well built house. But you know what the real issue is ---.... ---- there is absolutely no way to address a situation where the insurance company doesn't show up for 6 weeks and blame the policy holder for not preventing water damage. Now that is absolutely unconscionable. I am not making this up - i have personally seen an adjuster show up 6 weeks later and say oh! well the hurricane is covered but all this later water damage and mold is not. good luck.

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joeblow 4 months, 1 week ago

Government should not be in the business of home repairs, it sets a terrible precedent that is unsustainable and encourages political tribalism. Only homeowners with up to date property taxes should be able to qualify for low interest loans from local banks so that taxpayers don't get burdened with loans that default.

The governments focus should be on fixing local economies so that people can afford to take care of their own responsibilities!

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